Conquer COVID-19 Surviving the Surge

Published 11:45 am Tuesday, December 22, 2020

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Surviving the Surge, a video presentation about the impacts of COVID-19 in Louisiana, is now available online for viewing on the website. The presentation features public health experts, Dr. Tina Stefanski (MD), Medical Director of the Office of Public Health in Acadiana, and Charlene Gradney (MSW, LCSW), a program director with the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health.
The presentation addresses both the physical and mental challenges posed by COVID-19, especially during the upcoming holiday season. Dr. Stefanski rounds out her presentation of the physical challenges by providing an up-to-date explanation of the science behind COVID-19, proper quarantine and testing procedures, and news about the upcoming vaccines. Charlene Gradney, meanwhile, explores the mental aspects of stress and isolation people throughout the country will face going into a holiday season overshadowed by the pandemic. She further includes advice for keeping socially connected in a responsible way, as well as resources from organizations that can provide help with counseling and mental health emergencies.
According to the presenters, the challenges of the holidays are likely to be substantial. “The research has shown 80% of people are reporting higher levels of depression, anxiety and alcohol and drug use as the pandemic persists,” reports Charlene Gradney. “There’s been an 891% increase in calls to the disaster lines…and the majority of the calls are about feelings of depression and anxiety.”
Dr. Stefanski agrees that the upcoming months pose a considerable risk and that the vaccine will not arrive in time to help with the holiday rush. “Great promise, but this vaccine will not help us get through the next few months. It will not help us through the holiday season…it’s motivation for all of us to stick with these preventive practices knowing that there is an end in sight.”
In light of these challenges, it is more important than ever for people to stay informed through sources like the Surviving the Surge presentation. To learn more, visit the full presentation